Skip to main content

2023 Organisers

  • Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze, Makerere University, Uganda
  • Dr. Henry N. N. Bulley, BMCC, City University of New York, USA

1. Introduction

Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is undoubtedly one of the regions experiencing a myriad of environmental risk challenges in the midst of global environmental changes coupled with rapid demographic which have implications on ecosystem and livelihoods. Soil erosion beyond the tolerable soil loss limits, depletion of critical soil nutrients crucial in crop yield and productivity, high pollution loading of water system, increasing landslides on steep and sensitive slopes, increased flood incidences exemplify the prevalent ongoing intricate processes, which have undermined the ecological potential of socioecological landscapes in several SSA countries.

Issues of social-ecological sustainability, systems resilience and social equity benefiting from nature ́s contributions to people continue to occupy a prominent position in the global development dis-course of tropical regions particularly in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The dominant narrative paints a dismal picture in SSA and avers that ecological systems are increasingly undergoing enormous degradation linked to natural and human induced processes with adverse implications on local and regional populations whose livelihoods are strongly dependent on environment and natural resources. Feedbacks through increasing intensity and extent of natural hazards, stagnant or declining agricultural yields, and in consequence increasing migration exemplify the magnitude of current impacts of interwoven natural and societal changes at global scale. These have been accelerated by climate change with new prospections of a 50C global warming instead of only 1.50C as intended. Increasing climate variability and tremendous demographic changes jeopardize sustainable development and undermine the suitability of current policy, planning and governance approaches to manage them successfully. A strong desire exists in addressing these issues as seen in the tenets of the Global Development Agenda 2030 and the Africa Union Agenda 2063. Landscape ecology principles provide a framework for sustainable land use planning and natural resource management. Landscape Ecology as an interdisciplinary marriage between geography, biology, ecology and social sciences provides a valid scientific foundation to harness the role of biodiversity for a sustainable livelihood and suggest adequate governance instruments to achieve the SDGs. The VW-summer school series intends to train participants on the knowledge and skills of how landscape ecology can contribute to improve the status of achieving the SDGs and the AU Agenda 2063 objectives. The summer school will entail joint engagement of scientists and practitioners from urban, regional and national planning as well as from governmental institutions who are engaged in socio-ecological system development from multiple perspectives.

2. Target Group

The summer school for 2023 is planned for about 40 participants who are based in Africa or Germany. Some exceptions may be made for students originating from Africa who may be enrolled in studies outside Africa and Germany. The summer school will be a mixture of early career and young scientists as well as established scholars and input providers from practice, such as policy makers/representatives of governmental institutions preparing and implementing environmental policies, planners, actors from business and economy and local knowledge holders. For the young scientists, the focus will be on Masters, PhD and postdoctoral students from African and German institutions.

3. Mode of Summer School III

This is the third and last summer school under a series which have been funded by the Volkswagen Foundation under the overall theme entitled “ImPlementing Landscape Ecology for Improved SustAinability and Societal Equity of Social-Ecological Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (PLEASE- SES)”. Drawing from the successful lessons of the first and second summer schools, this last summer school will also adopt a hybrid model entailing firstly two webinars which will be followed a physical meeting in Uganda in July 2023. The tentative webinar and physical meeting timelines are given below. The webinars will cover theoretical aspects on ecological governance and how it fits in the landscape ecology based resilience agenda.

Webinar 1: May 2023

Webinar 2: June 2023

Physical meeting (Kampala, Uganda): 17 -27 July 2023

****Note: All sessions of Webinar and physical meeting will be recorded.

4. Requirements

  1. Be a PhD student, Postdoctoral student or early career scientist from based in Sub Saharan Africa or Germany. Landscape ecology scientists from Sub Saharan Africa may also be considered
  2. Commit to participate in the two planned webinar series
  3. Motivation and interest in the summer school focused on “Ecological Governance”
  4. Brief CV (Maximum 2 pages)

5. Application Procedure and Deadline

Applications to participate in the first summer school should be submitted here. The application deadline is 21st May, 2023. Selected applicants will be required to attend Webinars during which time final selection will be made.

6. Funding

The summer school series are fully funded with a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation, which will cover costs for travel, accommodation, Visa and meals physical meeting in Kampala in July 2023.

7. Contacts

More information about the summer school can be obtained by sending an email to: